Gold Cup and Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell, 43, announces his immediate retirement

Gold Cup and Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell, 43, announces his immediate retirement from the saddle after victory aboard Liberty Dance at Thurles

  • Davy Russell announced his retirement after victory at Thurles on Sunday
  • He won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014 and the Grand National in 2018 and 2019
  • Frankie Dettori has announced that he will retire from the saddle at the end of 2023

Just 24 hours after Frankie Dettori shocked horse racing by announcing his intention to retire from the saddle, Davy Russell, one of National Hunt racing’s all-time greats, also called time on a glittering career.

In Dettori’s case, 2023 will be his last professional season as a jockey. However, Russell confirmed his immediate retirement on Sunday at Thurles after victory aboard Liberty Dance for long-time friend and supporter Gordon Elliott.

Dettori, 52, cited the sudden decline in Cristiano Ronaldo’s popularity and influence as one of the reasons he ended a stellar 36-year riding career that has seen him win every British Classic at least twice. “I’ve decided that with the firepower I have for next year and the horses I have to ride, I can end my career on a high note,” said the popular Italian.

Davy Russell, one of National Hunt racing’s all-time great riders, has called time on his career

– Towards the end of the season it was in my mind. Look at Ronaldo, he was playing one minute and on the bench the next.

“I don’t want to end up like this, where I struggle to get rides in the big races. At the moment I still have good horses to ride and I want to finish like this.’

While Dettori will enjoy a year-long finale to his dazzling career, Russell – who will always be remembered for his glorious union with back-to-back Grand National winner Tiger Roll – was delighted to bring a quick end to a 20-year vocation . which has seen him come back from serious and potentially life-changing injuries.

The 43-year-old, who produced an exceptional Gold Cup-winning ride aboard Lord Windermere in 2014, said: “Obviously I’m sad to give up something I’ve been lucky enough to call work for so long, but the truth is I’ve never actually worked a day in my life.

Racing legend Frankie Dettori has announced that he will retire from the saddle at the end of 2023

Racing legend Frankie Dettori has announced that he will retire from the saddle at the end of 2023

My journey began 43 years ago with the support of my parents who gave me the most outstanding childhood – never limiting me and giving me the freedom to begin a journey.

“My mum is no longer here, but she’s always had my back – I still feel like she’s looking after me today. As for my father, I am lucky to still have him in my life and he has always been there for me, along with my brothers and sisters.

“The last two decades have flown by and I just have so many people to thank. Many have had my back in the tougher times.

The tough times included an 11-month absence from racing due to a neck injury which meant Russell faced a grueling recovery, with bolts drilled into his head and weights suspended from his head to realign his spine.

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